DMCC Free Zone Registration – IBSS

Setting up a DMCC Free Zone Registration:

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Dubai Multi Commodities Center ( DMCC ) is the one among the best & largest UAE Free Zone today. It is centrally located in Dubai  in Jumeirah Lakes Towers – one of the most prestigious locations in Dubai. It has a very easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road, Near to Metro Station, located in close vicinity to Jebel Ali port and new DWC airport. It is only 60 minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi.

Dubai Multi Commodities Center ( DMCC )  was formed in 2002 and became a strategic hub for companies dealing with commodities trading, such as gold, precious stones, tea, pearls and others. Today more than 15,000 companies call DMCC ( website : ) home, ranging from multinational corporations to start-ups. A further 170 companies join us every month, 95% of which are new to Dubai. Whatever their size and status, every member company is united in benefiting from unparalleled access to world-class business services, connections and infrastructure.

Almost 90,000 people live and work here, attracted by our vibrant community, stunning property in a high-quality lifestyle. With excellent air, sea and road links, it is the ideal business base for Dubai, the UAE and beyond. As endorsed by the ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ award from the Financial Times FDI magazine for three years now, DMCC is indeed, Made for Trade.

Dubai Multi Commodities Center ( DMCC ) Free Zone Benefits :
1)No Personal and Corporate Income Tax
2) 100% BUSINESS OWNERSHIP AND CAPITAL REPATRIATION: As an expatriate, you can own 100% of the company you are setting up and remit all profits to your home territory, without restriction.
3) THRIVING BUSINESS CENTRE: Network with 15,000 member companies representing 170+ countries and 20+ business sectors in an interconnected marketplace with boundless opportunities.
4) STRATEGIC LOCATION: Situated in the heart of Dubai, DMCC is within fast, easy reach of both airports, Jebel Ali Port harbour and the Expo2020 site, while adjoining some of the most prestigious visitor, retail and residential districts in the world.
5)LIVE AND WORK IN ONE VIBRANT COMMUNITY: Dubai Multi Commodities Center ( DMCC ) is home to nearly 92,000 people who live and work here. With its striking waterfront, beautiful community park and stunning skyline of 66 towers, you can enjoy a high-quality lifestyle with superb restaurants, hotels, education facilities and healthcare.
6)FLEXIBLE SOLUTIONS: Almost every business activity you can think of can be found in Dubai Multi Commodities Center ( DMCC ). You can set up as a branch, subsidiary or new limited liability company. We also offer flexible office solutions, from the plug and play flex-desks and serviced offices to multi-storey offices for lease or sale.
7)ONE-STOP SHOP: As a DMCC member, you will find everything you need for every stage of your business journey under one roof. With easy access to more resources to invest in growing your business, you will be better equipped for success.
8)ONLINE PORTAL FOR ALL SERVICES: Reflecting our commitment to innovation, you can access a wide range of services on the DMCC member portal from any device, anytime and anywhere in the world, ensuring a rapid response to any requests.


Who is DMCC?

DMCC, a strategic initiative of the Government of Dubai, was established in 2002, with a mandate to provide the physical, market and financial infrastructure required to set up a commodities market place in Dubai. DMCC offers a unique opportunity for market participants in a wide range of commodities industries in four broad sectors including precious commodities (gold, diamonds, coloured stones and pearls), energy related sectors, steel and base metals and soft agricultural commodities (tea, cotton and others). The Centre aims to attract key players throughout the entire value chain of each of these commodity sectors, together with a range of support industries such as finance, logistics, consulting and insurance. DMCC was the first UAE free zone authority to offer freehold business premises, in addition to all other standard free zone services. These comprise a 50-year holiday on personal and income taxes, full foreign ownership of business and a one-stop shop facility for processing of all documentation including immigration and licensing needs.

Are DMCC and JLT two separate Free Zones?

Until January 2014, the DMCC Authority offered two types of licenses: DMCC and JLT. DMCC Free Zone companies operate in the commodities and related sectors, while JLT Free Zone companies operate across non-commodities related sectors. From February 2014, the authority licenses all activities under the one DMCC license. All companies previously licensed under the JLT license will progressively transfer to a DMCC license.

What is a Free Zone?

A Free Zone or Free Trade Zone or Free Economic Zone, is a designated geographical area where certain taxes or restrictions on business, employment or trade do not apply in the same manner that they apply to the country in which the zone is located. An area within which goods might land, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities. Only when the goods move to consumers within the country in which the zone is located do they become subject to the prevailing customs duties. Free Zones are often organised around major seaports, international airports, and national frontiers — areas with many geographic advantages for trade.

What are the main benefits of setting up a Free Zone company with DMCC?

In summary, DMCC Free Zone companies enjoy 0% corporate and personal tax for 50 years, 100% foreign ownership, simple set up process, assistance with sponsorship of employees and many other UAE government related services, which incorporate a wide range of affordable property choices.

Is there any corporate/income tax applied to the companies or to the individuals?

There is no corporate/income tax on individuals or companies operating in the Free Zone. This applies for 50 years from the time of registration of the company.

Do I need a UAE Partner to form a company?

One of the many advantages of setting up a company in DMCC is that it offers 100% foreign ownership. You do not need a UAE Partner to form a company at DMCC unless your business is a pharmacy. In this instance, the Dubai Health Authority requires a UAE National shareholder in order to issue the required No Objection Certificate (NOC).

With DMCC, you can choose from over 600 business activities. These range across 20 sectors that include Energy, Commodities, Gold and Diamonds, Technology, Construction, FMCG, Healthcare, Aviation, Shipping, Education and Media, as well as services such as Professional, Financial, Personal and Community. For further details, please refer to the DMCC Allowed Activity List here.

Can a trading and service activity be on the same license?

No, they have to be on two different licenses. All trading activities will be grouped under one Trading License and all service activities will be grouped under one Service License.

How many activities can I have under one license?

Within each license type (Trading, Service or Industrial), up to six business activities in the same Division (activity code beginning with the same first two digits i.e. 50xx-xx) can be included in the standard annual license fee. Additional fees will apply when adding activities from a different Division. (Please refer to Costs Section)

Can I add an activity after my license is issued, what should I apply for?

Yes, you can.
In case you wish to add an activity from the same license type (adding a trading activity on your trading license), then you can apply for ‘Change of Activity’ through your DMCC Member Portal. For further details, please refer to the How-To-Guides under Managing a Company on DMCC website
In case you wish to add an activity from a different license type (adding a service activity while holding a trading license), this will be considered as an additional license, hence, you will need to apply for a new Service License through your DMCC Member Portal. For further details, please refer to the How-To-Guides under Managing a Company on DMCC website

If I have a Free Zone company, can I do business outside the Free Zone?

Yes, your company may conduct business outside of the UAE without restriction, provided it is legal. If you wish to trade within the UAE (known as “Onshore”) there are two main methods for doing so. The first one is to trade directly with an LLC company that has an import/export license. As part of the terms of trade, they would need to clear any goods through customs. Secondly, you may enter into an agreement with a logistics company that would clear the goods and deliver them to the mainland. For services companies wishing to provide services to a company outside the free zone, the general rule is that the services must be provided within the Free zone. There are certain exceptions, such as recruitment services where stricter rules apply.

What if my company did not commence operations during the first financial reporting period?

Companies that have not yet commenced operations prior to the end of the first financial reporting period must submit a statement confirming that the company has not yet commenced operations.

What is the process for the submission of the Audited Financial Statements?
  • DMCC provides a simple process for the submission of Audited Financial Statements.
  • In 2015, DMCC adopted a fully automated process of submission, in line with the international best practices and DMCC’s direction to continuously improve our members’ experience. Members upload the required documents through a simple service request.
  • We do not require our members to submit original documents. Members are required to hold original documents on premise for review at any time by DMCC inspectors.

The process steps are explained below:
Step 1 – Liaise with your auditor to provide the following upon audit completion:

Step 2 - Log on to the DMCC portal and select Compliance Services > Submit Company Audited Financial Statements Summary Sheet and Report. Fill out the form by entering the information stated in the “Company Audited Financial Statements Summary Sheet”. 
Step 3 - Tick the declaration box to confirm that the information provided is true and correct; noting that it is an offence to enter false information. Then, click “Save”.



Step 4 - Upload the following two documents:

  • Audited Financial Statements Report
  • Audited Financial Statements Summary Sheet
  • Press “Submit”.


Note: The original Company Audited Financial Statements Summary Sheet should be kept safely in the company’s possession and made available upon request by the DMCC Inspection Team. This service request is free of charge.

What is the process for hand-carry imports?

Hand-carried rough diamond shipments must be submitted together with their original KP certificates to the respective customs authorities on arrival at any UAE port. The passenger carrying the rough diamond shipment will be given a copy of the ‘Passenger Baggage Receipt’ by the customs authority, who will then attach a copy of this receipt to the shipment prior to the transfer of the goods to the UAE KP Office. Upon completion of the routine inspection and verification procedures by the UAE KP Office, the passenger must then submit documents including a copy of their passport, their ticket details and their baggage invoice, along with the original KP certificate and a copy of their import invoice in order to clear the diamond shipment.

If I import rough diamonds set into jewellery do I need a KPCS?

No, once rough diamonds are set into Jewellery they are considered as such.

Can I import a rough diamond into UAE and export it to a GCC country?

No, UAE is the only country to introduce and operate KP compliance in the GCC.

Do I require a Kimberley Process Certificate for semi-polished diamonds?

Yes, semi-polished diamonds fall under the KPCS and require certification.

Do I have to declare all rough diamonds at customs whatever the destination?

Yes, it is mandatory to declare hand carried rough diamonds at customs whatever the destination.

What Types of Licenses Does DMCC Issue?

The types of licenses offered at DMCC are 
Trade License: To carry out trading activities as specified in the License
Service License: To carry out service activities as specified in the License
Industrial License: To carry out light manufacturing activities as specified in the License

Can I apply for two separate licenses under one company name?

Yes, this is possible depending on the satisfaction of the conditions of the licenses. In some cases, where a company wishes to conduct several activities that are similar in nature the authority allows unlimited activities to be conducted under one license. However, if the activities are unrelated, separate licenses are required. DMCC offers a General Trading License that allows a client to trade from a paper clip right up to an airplane. The products and categories that are covered under General Trading are defined by Customs and are subject to change based on Customs requirements. There are certain product classifications that are not covered under General Trading License, including Defence Equipment / Military, Gold and Gold Jewellery, Diamonds and Diamond Jewellery and Tobacco and Tobacco Products. We recommend you speak to one of our expert Member Services Executives who will advise you further.

What rules and regulations apply to a company licensed by DMCC?

DMCC companies must comply with the following: 
1) DMCC Company Regulations (1/03), 2003 and its amendments DMCC Free Zone Rules and Regulations, 3rd edition, 2012 and its amendments; 
2) Any UAE Federal Law (to the extent that they apply to the Free Zone) Any applicable Dubai laws to the extent they apply to the Free Zone and insofar as these do not interfere with the overriding principles contained within the FZ Regulations, and
3) Any mandatory industry codes and/or professional memberships that are a requirement to hold a particular license category. DMCC company regulations and Free Zone rules and regulations are available on the website.

Why does DMCC request notarised or notarised and attested documents?

International Law mandates the legalisation to authenticate or certify a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect.

What is notarisation of a document?


Notarisation of a copy certificate is a legal method of confirming that a reproduction of an original document is true, exact, and complete.

What is legalisation?

Legalisation is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect. It is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine. Having a document legalised does not mean that its contents are accurate, and it does not carry any sort of official approval by the office that performs the legalisation.

Who performs the legalisation?

The national department responsible for foreign affairs of the country from which the document is issued usually performs legalisation.

How are documents legalised?

The office performing the legalisation will firstly check the signature, seal or stamp on the document against their database. Then they attach an apostille (the legal term for the legalisation certificate) to confirm that the document is genuine.

Why do documents need to be legalised?

If you are going to use certain documents overseas, for business or personal reasons, you may be required to have those documents legalised before they can be accepted. The stamp of authenticity gives the authority you are dealing with confidence that it is a genuine document.

What is attestation?

It is the act of witnessing a signature for declaring that a document was properly signed and declared by the signer to be his or her signature. Example: Attesting UK Documents for use in the UAE - the United Arab Emirates require documents that are issued in the UK to be attested before they can be legally used in the UAE. This is a two-step process, which requires the addition of an Apostle Stamp by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and then subsequent consular attestation by the UAE Embassy in London. For the avoidance of doubt, attestation is sometimes referred to as legalisation.

Is there a requirement to appoint auditors and to submit annual accounts of the company?

Yes, an annual financial audit must be conducted and submitted to DMCC. While the standard reporting period is one calendar year, a company may nominate a different reporting period. The first reporting period will commence from the date of incorporation and must not be less than six months and not more than eighteen months.

Does the audit have to be done by a local auditor?

The auditor needs to hold valid license by the UAE Ministry of Economy. Before engaging an audit firm, DMCC advises all companies to ensure their auditor holds the necessary licenses.